This pigeon which was rescued after having a three-inch needle that appears to be from a syringe rammed through the front of its skull and out through the other side has survived an operation to remove it.
The pigeon was spotted with the needle in its head but evaded capture for 10 days in the Villa Reale park in the city of Monza, in the northern Italian region of Lombardy.
A dog trainer called Said Beid eventually caught the pigeon along with Antonello Garbini and Anna Fossat after several attempts.
Beid told local newspaper Corriere della Sera: “I went to the park for several days and I noticed that there were two groups of pigeons that came down from the trees to eat at different times of the day. I watched their habits by going there every day at 7 am, when the park opens.
“The pigeon with the needle in the head used to go down three times per day to feed, keeping a distance from the other group, maybe because it was scared, maybe to avoid somebody touching it.
“I worked calmly after passersby and other people understood what my “mission” was. One afternoon I built two cages, I waited for the other animals to leave and when I saw my ‘friend’ going down from the tree I put some food in the cage and I managed to catch it.”
The pigeon, which has now been named ‘Dardo’ (Dart), was taken to Villoresi veterinary clinic in Monza for surgery to remove the needle which Beid said had also touched but not peirced the bird’s eye.
The rescuer believes someone jammed the needle into the pigeon’s skull deliberately, saying: “What was done to this animal is absolute cruelty. The nine-centimetre (3.5-inch) needle touched its eye. Who knows what cruelties the person who does these things is doing to other animals in nature.”
The vet in charge of the surgery, Valeria Pellegrino, said the pigeon “arrived in a critical but stable condition with a dart or needle stuck in its head which crossed from the frontal bone to the occipital bone,” but its brain was not damaged.
The complicated surgery was carried out after an X-ray and was a success, with Pellegrino saying the pigeon has opened its eyes again.
Pellegrino added: “Sadly, it is not the first time a situation like this has happened, I am happy Dardo is fine”.
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